French Open Day 1: Makarova knocks out top seed Kerber, Thiem and Dimitrov cruise through

There was a big shock on the opening day of the 2017 French Open, as world number one Angelique Kerber was stunned by Ekaterina Makarova in the first round at Roland Garros.

The German became the first top seed in the Open era to lose in the first round of the French Open, as Russian Makarova breezed past the US Open champion 6-2 6-2 in just one hour and 22 minutes.

Angelique Kerber won both the Australian Open and US Open in 2016
image: sportingnews.com

Kerber had been struggling leading into the tournament with just three wins on clay this year and her poor form continued, as she struggled on her serve falling to an early 5-1 deficit in the first set, before Makarova held off a late rally from Kerber in the second to seal the win.

With Serena Williams missing the rest of the season awaiting the birth of her first child, sister Venus Williams overcame a tough first round encounter with Wang Qiang to keep her hopes of a first French Open title alive.

The American – who turns 37 next month – recovered from a break point down in the second set to book her spot in the second round with a 6-4 7-6 (7/3) win over her Chinese opponent.

Venus will face Japan’s Kurumi Nara to keep her hopes of reaching a first final at the French Open since 2002 alive, after Nara came from behind to defeat 15-year-old American wildcard Amanda Anisimova 3-6 7-5 6-4.

There was an emotional victory for Pertra Kvitova, as she won on her first match back on the court after being stabbed during a burglary at her home in December.

The former Wimbledon champion looked impressive in a 6-3 6-2 victory over American Julia Boserup to reach the second round of the French Open, after recovering from career threatening injuries.

There was also a dominant first outing at the French Open for sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova, as the Slovakian crushed Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena 6-2 6-1 as she goes in search for her first grand slam title.

Eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova overcame a much tougher test in her first outing, as the Russian overcame the threat of American Christina McHale 7-5 6-4 as he also hopes to end her wait for a first major title in Paris.

Australian Open semi-finalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni won’t be duplicating her success from Melbourne, after Turkey’s Cagla Buyukakcay upset the 35-year-old 6-3 6-3.

Former US Open finalist Roberta Vinci has also fallen at the first hurdle, as Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig held off a fight back from the 34-year-old to secure a 6-3 3-6 6-2 win over the Italian.

Timea Bacsinszky also comfortably progressed at the French Open, as the Swiss player ran out a comfortable 6-1 6-2 winner over Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo.

On the men’s side of things, Austria’s Dominic Thiem showed why he is a threat to win his first grand slam title in Paris after a first round hammering of Bernard Tomic.

The 23-year-old – who is the only man to beat tournament favourite Rafael Nadal on clay this season – put early nerves aside to crush his Aussie opponent 6-4 6-0 6-2 in straight sets.

Australian Open semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov recorded his first win at Roland Garros since 2013, as the 11th seed cruised to a 6-2 6-3 6-4 win over Frenchman Stephane Robert.

The Bulgarian will now face five-time quarter-finalist Tommy Robredo in the second round, as the veteran Spaniard came from behind to end the hops of Great Britain’s Dan Evans 5-7 6-4 6-3 6-1.

Dominic Thiem defeated Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open two weeks ago
image: rte.ie

Albert Ramos-Vinolas also had to come from a set down to book his place in the second round, as the 19th seed recovered from losing a first set tie break to secure a  6-7 (7/9) 6-1 6-4 6-2 win over Maruis Copil of Romania.

Pablo Carreno Busta joined his compatriots Robredo and  Ramos-Vinolas in the second round, as the 20th seed cruised to a 6-4 6-2 6-2 straight sets win over Germany’s Florian Mayer.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez followed his fellow Spaniards in the next round, as he sent Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller home early after a hard-fought 7-6 (7/4) 6-7 (2/7) 6-2 6-2 victory in Paris.

16th seed Lucas Pouille survived a five-set thriller with fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau, booking his spot in the next round after a hard-fought 7-6 (8/6) 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory in three hours and 21 minutes.

38-year-old Ivo Karlovic made his experience count, as the Croatian overcome a tough challange from 18-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas to seal his progress with a 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 6-4 victory over the Greek teenager.

You can check out more results from the opening day of the 2017 French Open at this link.

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